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Cool Cities?

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,918
Points
37
Reminds me of that classic Farside cartoon...

"Welcome to heaven, here's your harp"/"Welcome to hell, here's your accordion"
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
Points
29
michaelskis said:
Thus far, I am wondering if it will be of any help, or if it is just getting hokey.
Seperate the fun kooky promotional events - like playing the accordian in drag - from the practical limitations of a brand new pilot program that intends to focus on the economic development of Michigan's troubled urban areas.

http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10741

http://bunker.defcode.com/index.php?p=173&more=1&c=1&tb=1

http://www.commonmonkeyflower.net/cms/item/376/

http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-29544_29546_29555-89913--,00.html

http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-29544_29546_29555---,00.html

http://www.michigan.gov/mshda/0,1607,7-141--88662--,00.html
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
jordanb said:
That looks about as cool as a bingo parlor in Pittsburgh.

Can you feel the excitement? Electrifying, isn't it.

As for the Cool Cities Initiative getting hokey, from what I've seen of it so far it seems that it started out hokey.
 

Howard Roark

Cyburbian
Messages
276
Points
10
I wish them all the luck in the world, but this has a strong scent of backfire.

Cool is not something you create, cool happens.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Just what is wrong with the accordian?! Lawrence Welk played accordian, and he was cool.
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
Where are the bubbles? You can't have accordian music w/out bubbles.
If the plans work and bring in jobs etc, more power to them, but I agree with HR--cool is spontaneous. Any attempts at being cool automatically become very uncool. Just ask any junior high school student.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
What characteristics do you think that would make a community cool. I think that places that provide for high levels in interaction, multiple entertainment choices in a consolidated area, and opportunities for various activities directed to a particular demographic group such as 21-40 year olds all within a place that gives the perception of being clean and safe.

Places like Chicago and Madison do this quite well. Smaller places such as Marquette, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids, Michigan have slowly been doing this, as they become more accepting of College Students and Young Professionals.

BUT places like Detroit and the State of Michigan do seem to do Stupid things

What things do you think would make a city cool?
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
Character and authenticity make a place cool. If a place is designed for a certain target market, and is shiny and new, it will become another Disney-fied tourist trap or shopping mall for the masses. But if a place has its original built environment, or as much as possible, and if there are locally-owned restaurants and pubs and shops, and if there's an overall cohesive feel that's organic in nature, not created all at once, then it has a good shot at being cool, IMHO. Coolness has to grow over time. A "Cool Overlay District" might go a way towards creating the right environment to foster local businesses and preserve the built environment, but there are so many variables. It has to have some appeal on some level for almost everyone. Shops during the day for tourists and perhaps older people, clubs in the evening, bistros for everyone, parks with benches and playgrounds...
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
Points
29
From http://www.freep.com/news/latestnews/pm20088_20040602.htm:

Twenty projects in 17 Michigan cities to get Cool Cities grants

LANSING -- Twenty projects in 17 cities aimed at developing vibrant, attractive downtowns and urban areas will get $100,000 each in state grants and have access to $100 million in other development resources.

The grants were announced Wednesday by Gov. Jennifer Granholm as part of her Cool Cities initiative. The governor made the announcement during a morning news conference at Detroit's Eastern Market and was scheduled to hold an afternoon news conference at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids.

The 20 projects that are getting $100,000 catalyst grants under Gov. Jennifer Granholm's Cool Cities initiative:

-Alpena: The grant will be used to develop a pedestrian-oriented walkway through downtown on both sides of the river, providing non-motorized linkage between the downtown and public and private development projects occurring along the river.

-Bay City: The project is Waterfall Park, to be located at the end of Third Street and extending to the first bridge to cross the Saginaw River.

-Detroit: The Greater Downtown Partnership proposes to renovate Shed No. 2 which will allow an additional 50 vendors to conduct business. In addition, the project establishes the Eastern Market neighborhood as a link to the riverfront and downtown.

-Detroit: The Jefferson East Business Association proposes to redevelop three dilapidated buildings into Entertainment and Technology Incubators. They will contain 28 residential loft apartments, a TV production studio and a number of retail and food service establishments.

-Detroit: The Southwest Detroit Business Association proposes the renovation of the Odd Fellows Hall located in the heart of the Springwells neighborhood. It will become a key anchor in the multicultural area.

-Ferndale: The Ferndale Downtown Development Authority would use the catalyst grant to expand the BUILD Program, which offers a 20 percent reimbursement for exterior building improvements to properties within the downtown area. Additional Cool Cities funding would enable up to five properties to be added to the program.

-Flint: The grant will be used to restore the exterior of the Republic Bank Building which will become First Street Lofts, a 16-unit loft development downtown.

-Grand Rapids: The Avenue for the Arts Project includes the historic renovation of seven buildings, streetscape improvements along with the creation of public art, murals and the development of 35 loft apartments.

-Grand Rapids: The Uptown Revitalization Project contains a new retail development utilizing green technology that is compatible with historic district standards, a faEcade improvement program for historic commercial structures and a wayfinding design program to increase the walkability of the Uptown area.

-Jackson: The Jackson Armory Arts Project will include the redevelopment of an abandoned industrial site into a center for the arts and culture, including 39 loft apartments.

-Kalamazoo: The city will use the grant monies to move Smartshop, a unique metalworking school, gallery, and sculpture garden to a new location on the city's north side.

-Marquette: The Marquette Commons Project will consist of a groomed, refrigerated ice plaza with a skating rink, warming house, a non-motorized trail and a fountain located near the heart of the city on the site of an old parking lot and elevated railroad trestle.

-Port Huron: The catalyst project is conversion of the Relic Building into an Art Incubator for artists. The neighborhood is a vibrant, traditional downtown neighborhood offering diverse arts and culture.

-Portland: The catalyst project is a boardwalk that will connect the pedestrian bridge over the confluence of the Grand and Looking rivers. The boardwalk will run along the back of the commercial buildings on the 100 block of Kent Street. The grant will leverage additional funding for the development of lofts in the buildings.

-Saginaw: The catalyst grant will be used to redevelop two currently vacant buildings into first-floor commercial and second-floor residential uses. The two buildings are the former Aubry Cleaners building and the Federal Building.

-Saugatuck: The project involves the renovation of the old Pie Factory into the Saugatuck Center for the Arts and the enhancement of the adjacent city parking area, including streetscape improvements on Mason Street and Culver Street.

-Sault Ste. Marie: The project proposes to restore and renovate the classic and historic Soo Theatre Complex to its original grandeur of the 1930's. The project is part of the downtown revitalization and will provide economic development and other economic benefits.

-Traverse City: The project will establish an Entrepreneurial Institute to help instill an independent entrepreneurial culture into the Grand Traverse community.

-Warren: The City Square Project is a 2-acre urban park that will contain a multipurpose improvement that is a fountain in the warmer months and an ice rink in the winter. The City Square will be bounded by the new City Hall/Library, high-density residential and commercial retail, and a childcare center.

-Ypsilanti: Plans include facility improvements to the Riverside Arts Center and to partner with DTE to expand the project. The project will involve the reutilization of a vacant office structure for retail gallery, studio, office and theater set construction and other Arts Center uses in Ypsilanti's downtown historic neighborhood.​
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,915
Points
57
BKM said:
Wow. Who would live in a loft in downtown Flint?
Nobody.

My dad works in the Mott building in downtown Flint, and he is totally amazed that anyone would waste money on doing such a development, let alone someone actually buying one of the lofts. Those who can, run from Flint as if it has the plague.

______

I see my hometown, Alpena, got a peice of ths Cool Cities action. That's great. The area of the city being targeted with the money needs the help. Here's a link to the project utilizing the Cool Cities money - Alpena's plans for Cool Cities money

But I would restrain from labeling Alpena as cool. It definitely has a great appeal to me, but I know all the nooks and crannies where the little bit of cool lives.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
Points
29
mendelman said:
I see my hometown, Alpena, got a peice of ths Cool Cities action. That's great. The area of the city being targeted with the money needs the help.
And Flint needs help too, yet you slam this once great city as having no value whatsoever. :-D

How is it that Alpena is worthy of help, but Flint is not? What is your criteria? I demand knowledge!! :-{ :b:
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,707
Points
69
Might as well bring back Bill Knapp's, if that's how Michigan is going to define "cool."



















 

teshadoh

Cyburbian
Messages
435
Points
13
Those damn baby boomers, with their smooth jazz & their need to make everything (work, family, & now city) 'cool'. If you want to stick to what is considered 'cool' based on subculture norms or even film / music they could hand out needles with free heroin, host a 'down with international capitalism & proper pipe bomb throwing techniques' seminar, the mayor dresses up like Sid Vicious & every single substance is made of a hemp by product.

Because we all know, from enlightening coversations with 'cool' people at the Ralph Nader pep rally, you can do ANYTHING with hemp!
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,710
Points
71
Dan said:
Might as well bring back Bill Knapp's, if that's how Michigan is going to define "cool."
Dan, the audio's not working on my computer....is the Father Knows Best theme song supposed to be playing in the background?
OMG you just gave me an epiphany! This IS how Michigan needs to be marketed. We've always been a tourist mecca - here's how we make the sprawl and prevailing backward thinking mentality pay off instead of the traditional angles of camping or the Great Lakes....Think of the entire state as one big nostalgia exhibit. Kinda like a Branson to the 115th power. Our new ad campaign will adopt Huey Lewis & the News' 20 year old hit "It's Hip to be Square" and the tv ads will all be in black and white featuring scenes shot in various suburban locales. County fairs, pie eating contests, the family going for a drive in their 1972 (lead gasoline burning) Cadilac.
Dang, I was going to donate my plaid polyester leisure suit to the thrift store but now I'm keeping it! Wait long enough and anything will come back into style again.....hmmm, how's that for a new state motto? Beats the heck out of "Si quaerus peninsulum anoenam circumspice"
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
Points
29
Dan said:
Might as well bring back Bill Knapp's, if that's how Michigan is going to define "cool."
Apparently a planning student at the University of Michigan has a better grasp of what this program means for Michigan than our fearless leader here at Cyburbia.

Cool Cities? Yep, dumb name, however we finally have a Governor who wants strong cities. If she wants to give it a dumb name, then I don't care. It has attracted attention to Michigan's long-time decaying urban centers, which have been in need of help for almost two decades.




Maister said:
Dang, I was going to donate my plaid polyester leisure suit to the thrift store but now I'm keeping it! Wait long enough and anything will come back into style again.....hmmm, how's that for a new state motto? Beats the heck out of "Si quaerus peninsulum anoenam circumspice"
How bad is it where you are Maister? Is Michigan that bad? I know, you are just joking, but c'mon!
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,710
Points
71
Wanigas? said:
How bad is it where you are Maister? Is Michigan that bad? I know, you are just joking, but c'mon!
Oh, its not really any worse here in sw MI than elsewhere in the state or even the midwest in general. Actually, I am impressed by our governor's forward-thinking stance on this issue. I can't think of any other governors either in this state or in other states for that matter that have made the concept of 'vital cities' so much a centerpiece of their policy.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Damn this thread!

[OT]Every time I see this thread, that cheezy Sparks song "Cool Places" gets stuck in my head! [/OT]
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
teshadoh said:
Those damn baby boomers, with their smooth jazz & their need to make everything (work, family, & now city) 'cool'. If you want to stick to what is considered 'cool' based on subculture norms or even film / music they could hand out needles with free heroin, host a 'down with international capitalism & proper pipe bomb throwing techniques' seminar, the mayor dresses up like Sid Vicious & every single substance is made of a hemp by product.

Because we all know, from enlightening coversations with 'cool' people at the Ralph Nader pep rally, you can do ANYTHING with hemp!
Check out http://www.2blowhards.com/ and scroll down to "Underneath it all" for a fun little artsy rant about "coolness."
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
This is what I don't get... she wants to fix the problem, but she does stupid things. This program has done some good things, but I learned something big when I was living in Reading. The number one thing that needs to happen if your going to change a city is to change the way that people think about that city. For that, you need something bigger and better to help the people who live there. Yea!!! Loft Apartments in Downtown Flint!!! WHOOO FREEKIN HOOO! I look at it the same has having a nice apartment in the middle of Lake Michigan. Yea, ah, what is there to do? Furthermore, crime is bad, no much if any for public transit, and limited to no culture. I think that if these lofts are going to be combined with mixed use, urban in-fill with businesses that provide increased interaction, smart parking design, positive landscaping, facade improvements, events, and increase in police patrols and positive interaction with the residents. And that would just be the start. If one of these things happens with out a few others if not more, it is a waste of money. :-#

As for K-zoo, I am not sure where they are going to put it, but if it is right around the downtown mall and the core, it could be a great thing. But that is only because other elements are in place to support it. Good ideas need other good ideas to make a great community.

Maister and I don't agree on Granholm.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
Points
29
michaelskis said:
The number one thing that needs to happen if your going to change a city is to change the way that people think about that city.
Chill, man! :-D It's only a pilot program. I think it's great that our Governor is supporting urban redevelopment projects that encourage diverse housing choices. She is creating a positive atmosphere that brings high visibility to Michigan's urban centers. To me, this is an effective way to help people change the way they think about Michigan's cities.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,807
Points
61
From the AP Wire

Maligned Detroit Attracts Newcomers Again
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationw...63732.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines

"Official committees and grass-roots initiatives have formed to stem the outflow of talent.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm's effort is known as "Cool Cities." Followers of Richard Florida, an economist who believes welcoming the "creative class" is the key to urban revitalization, have formed "CreateDetroit."

They come here for the architecture, history and gritty atmosphere.

Of course, Detroit has its flaws, as even enthusiastic residents acknowledge.

A lack of public transportation is a familiar complaint, as are high premiums for auto insurance and high property taxes. Some Detroit boosters concede they might feel differently about the city if they had children and schools were a factor."

On The Net:

* Detroit Economic Growth Corp.: http://www.degc.org

* Create Detroit: http://www.createdetroit.com

* Detroit Synergy: http://www.detroitsynergy.com
 

japrovo

Member
Messages
103
Points
6
Cool happens. Right on. Howard should have t-shirts made. But its just like high school---can you be cool if you use the word? That problem aside, its been said by others already but authenticity and at least the hint of an edge are two things cool places/cities have.

This leads me to stand up for accordions in the Midwest---or maybe that's just my west coast perception about what's authentically Midwestern. Maybe you just need something new in your accordion music scene. (I'll make a shameless plug for a Portland-based band if that's allowed http://www.3legtorso.com/about.html).

I admire places for trying to follow through on the whole Florida/Memphis Manifesto angle (especially in Michigan!) but the implementation is often such a sideshow. In no small part that's probably due to how Florida has marketed himself. Would it be too obvious to suggest that this program looks like rebranding classic "build it and they will come" approaches to development? Cool happens---places that really want to be cool should do an inventory and see what they can do to support and keep cool people in their towns doing cool things. Doing what center cities have always done since the 60s---try to attract suburban "tourist" dollars, in this case to gentrified/-fying cool places, is insufficient if we want to get at what's really a people issue.

There is a dwindling youth cohort in our country and its migration patterns are very uneven across regions of the country---this is the resource of cool young creatives we're chasing. This is going to be a huge issue for the rest of our professional lifetimes with implications for labor force issues, health care and education systems, and regional economic competitiveness.

(Stepping down from soapbox)
...but we'll always have accordion music!
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
Points
29
Snacking on Pasties

Mmmm! California Governor Schwarzenegger is snacking on pasties and Vernor's pop while reading about the NBA World Champions Detroit Pistons in the Detroit News. Cool!



 

japrovo

Member
Messages
103
Points
6
japrovo said:
There is a dwindling youth cohort in our country and its migration patterns are very uneven across regions of the country---this is the resource of cool young creatives we're chasing. This is going to be a huge issue for the rest of our professional lifetimes with implications for labor force issues, health care and education systems, and regional economic competitiveness.
We just had a presentation of national study on this demographic shift. There was a pretty lively discussion. Its all available as a free streaming video file at http://www.media.pdx.edu/PSU/IMS_062504.asx

FYI, Regrettably it does require Windows Media Player 9 (not Mac freindly) and a high speed connection to get both sound and picture.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
Wanigas? said:
Mmmm! California Governor Schwarzenegger is snacking on pasties and Vernor's pop while reading about the NBA World Champions Detroit Pistons in the Detroit News. Cool!
I just read how Detroit's population is still declining. As for the Pasties, how did she get them? I don't think that they are all that available this side of the bridge.

Has anyone on here noticed any improvement or know of anyone who has noticed any improvement in public transportation in Michigan?
 

japrovo

Member
Messages
103
Points
6
japrovo said:
We just had a presentation of national study on this demographic shift. There was a pretty lively discussion. Its all available as a free streaming video file at http://www.media.pdx.edu/PSU/IMS_062504.asx

FYI, Regrettably it does require Windows Media Player 9 (not Mac freindly) and a high speed connection to get both sound and picture.
Acttually I just found out that it works for Mac with OS X .
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,194
Points
26
michaelskis said:
I just read how Detroit's population is still declining. As for the Pasties, how did she get them? I don't think that they are all that available this side of the bridge.
There is some brand sold in the grocery store, which I never had. I just make them myself - yummy!!!


michaelskis said:
Has anyone on here noticed any improvement or know of anyone who has noticed any improvement in public transportation in Michigan?
Yah, lots of construction!!
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
[ot]
SW MI Planner said:
Yah, lots of construction!!
My parents drove through MI the other week while visiting some relatives and commented that the state had the worst roads they have ever had the misfortune to drive on. Is the infrastructure really in as bad shape as they made it sound?[/ot]
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,217
Points
29
Michigan roads do indeed suck! They have been improved greatly over the past 10 years, believe it or not.
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,194
Points
26
biscuit said:
[ot]
My parents drove through MI the other week while visiting some relatives and commented that the state had the worst roads they have ever had the misfortune to drive on. Is the infrastructure really in as bad shape as they made it sound?[/ot]
I think MI roads are legendary. Being on the border, we go to IN a lot and it is remarkable the difference on the SAME road. It's like night and day.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,175
Points
51
SW MI Planner said:
I think MI roads are legendary. Being on the border, we go to IN a lot and it is remarkable the difference on the SAME road. It's like night and day.
You know the legend about the pot hole what swallowed a car in the UP? It is true! (it was more of a sink hole)

What about new non-road based public transportation such at trains, sub-ways, trolleys, or other methods of public transportation. I think that the auto companies control too much of the Governors Office.
 

monkeyflower

Cyburbian
Messages
58
Points
4
michaelskis said:
You know the legend about the pot hole what swallowed a car in the UP? It is true! (it was more of a sink hole)

What about new non-road based public transportation such at trains, sub-ways, trolleys, or other methods of public transportation. I think that the auto companies control too much of the Governors Office.
AATA (Ann Arbor Transit Authority? Transportation Authority? The thing that serves Ann Arbor/Ypsi, at any rate) set up a downtown circulator shuttle in A2 this past winter. $0.25/ride. 0 riders. Well, okay, a few. But few enough that I've seen a statistic around $19/trip. Free over the summer, then their pilot grant ends and so, most likely, does the service.

Somewhat better, AATA is going to be starting a commuter-oriented transit service from Chelsea and Milan (bedroom communities each about 20 miles outside of Ann Arbor) to downtown in August. Fast, direct-route highway coaches, rather than the old service to Chelsea (which they terminated for lack of ridership), which made a dozen stops at subdivisions along country roads and took more than an hour to go that 20 miles. My father, who has commuting between Chelsea and Ann Arbor for 25 years, has been writing letters to AATA every so often requesting exactly that service--he's miffed that they set it up barely a year after he changed jobs, changed schedules, and can no longer take advantage of it. I hope it works; it's certainly better than providing parking spaces for the commuters.

But no, no off-road. Unless you count the semi-mythical A2 / Ypsi / DTW / Detroit rail project.
 
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